Clippers get it together, defeat Warriors in Game 5

first_img“They had the raw emotions going into that game and we just didn’t handle it well,” Rivers said afterward, reflecting on the loss Sunday.Then he got to Jordan. Rivers said he received a text from Jordan after the team got back to Los Angeles.“He’s young,” Rivers said. “I have a young team; for that I thought DJ and a bunch of them got caught up in everything in Golden State. They had raw emotions going into that game. We didn’t handle it very well. I don’t blame them. I was really happy for him. He texted me right after we got back to L.A. and said, ‘That wasn’t me and I will be back.’“I didn’t know he meant that. I will make sure he texts me tonight.”Indeed, Jordan was back. And playing with that ferociousness that has become a staple in his vast arsenal.On his team as a whole, Rivers couldn’t say enough.“I thought they were great, I was really proud of them,” he said. “I thought they were tired a lot tonight. You could see that. I thought that was from the emotional baggage in the last few days. … I just thought they had great mental toughness. They wanted to win this game.”And the fans were right there in Rivers’ thoughts, too.“They were awesome,” Rivers said. “That was as good as I’ve ever seen. They were unbelievable. The mayor set a good tone in saying today is about L.A. I thought the city responded to that. Adam set the tone for us as well. You keep learning. You think it’s the players. It was the fans, too. Everybody wanted to excel.”It’s a good thing the fans did not heed the advice of an African-American fellow holding a sign in front of Staples Center before the game that read, “Is basketball more important than our dignity?”It’s not, of course. But along with that, the gentleman tried to dissaude fans from entering the arena, saying they shouldn’t until Sterling no longer owns the team.Rivers was queried two hours prior to Tuesday’s game as to whether he thought the punishment doled out by Silver would allow his players a better focus.“Yeah, I’m hoping,” he said. “Emotions drain energy. I know that, I felt that the other night. And when you watch it on tape, we were slow in everything and that’s because of all the emotions that have gone into this. Quite honestly, I didn’t think our guys had enough in them.”They did Tuesday. Clippers coach Doc Rivers has done everything he can to keep his players from having to talk too much about the situation regarding team owner Donald Sterling, who was caught on tape making racist remarks toward African-Americans. He had to know talking about it over and over would weigh on their minds.Much of the situation came to a head Tuesday when NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life and vowed to get the vote of 75 percent of league owners needed to oust Sterling altogether.The sordid affair had obviously been in the Clippers’ heads when they were routed by 21 points in Game 4 Sunday in Oakland. Game 5 on Tuesday night figured to be played with more focus, thanks in large part to the burden being lifted by Silver.Indeed, the Clippers were much better. Thanks in large part to a terrific all-around game by DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers defeated the Warriors 113-103 before a crowd of 19,657 at Staples Center. The Clippers lead the series 3-2 with Game 6 on Thursday in Oakland.Jordan had zero points and just six rebounds in Sunday’s 21-point Game 4 loss at Golden State. On Tuesday he erupted for 25 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks. Jamal Crawford had 19 points, two coming on a 17-footer with 32 seconds to play for a 107-99 L.A. lead that sealed Golden State’s fate. Chris Paul scored 20 points, Blake Griffin had 18 and Darren Collison 15.Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 21 points. Stephen Curry, who burned the Clippers for 33 on Sunday, had a rather quiet 17 points and David Lee and Andre Iguodala scored 18 apiece for Golden State. The Clippers, whose biggest lead was 13 points, led 55-50 at halftime and 77-72 after three quarters.What a difference two days and a lifetime ban made.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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